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ProBlogger Community Search Engine – Submit Your Sites

So Google’s Custom Search Engine service is now live and I thought I’d give it a go to see how it works and have a bit of fun.

I’ve created a ProBlogger Search Engine which you as ProBlogger readers are welcome to contribute sites to.

There’s a link on that page where you can volunteer to add sites to the search engine (I get to approve you or reject you from what I can tell).

At present it only searches ProBlogger.net but you are welcome to submit sites to it also and hopefully by doing so we’ll create a little search engine out of the blogs of the ProBlogger wider community (keep the sites submitted family friendly please.

To search the ProBlogger Search Engine either go here or enter your search term here.






update: While setting it up is quite easy I have to say that when you allow others to volunteer to participate that it’s rather ‘odd’.

  • For starters people can volunteer without giving you any details (name/photo). So you end up approving a nameless faceless person.
  • Secondly you don’t get any notification that people have volunteered (I was waiting for a notification only to log in just now and find 20 or so of you had volunteered over the last few hours).
  • Thirdly – it seems people can submit any sites they want without your approval once you’ve approved them. To me this seems the wrong way around – if I can’t identify who is who and have to approve people blind then it’d make sense to be able to moderate the sites they submit. I can see this system being abused considerably.
  • Lastly they list volunteers horizontally across the home page. When you have 20 volunteers this means you need to scroll horizontally to see them all. I can’t imagine what it’ll look like in the morning when another 50 of you have applied to join in! It all seems very unlike Google in terms of design – ie their homepage is very minimalistic!

Update II: Ok – it’s the next morning and I’ve just approved another 50 or so volunteers. there should be 70+ listed on the home page but they seem to have limited what they show to 20 (or is 20 the limit and all others are not accepted?)

Another reflection – it takes a long time to manually approve 50 volunteers – where’s the ‘approve all volunteers’ button?

Lastly – has anyone submitted any sites? To this point the only sites included are the ones I manually added….

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. graydon says:

    Tried it out just now… it required logging in under my google account and then asked that I confirm that I wanted to be a contributor to the search.

    It did not ask me for any particular site. So… without reading a bit of instructions I am going to make a worse case assumption… that once you approve me, I can submit any site I want.

    If it allows you to approve a site that I submit… then good. If not, then it could get interesting.

  2. graydon says:

    Update…
    Based upon this…
    http://www.google.com/coop/docs/cse/collaboration.html

    Once approved, we can submit any site we want…. without additioal approval.

    Not that any ProBlogger visitors would ever abuse such a service…

  3. Matthew says:

    This looks like a great idea….I’ve just set one up about Spain and Spanish for my readers.

    http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=010055054508265306865%3Asig53nm-7ly

    Thanks for the pointers. It will be interesting to see how it works, how popular it becomes and how it will work with adsense.

  4. katiebird says:

    I’m totally confused. It looks interesting. My day job is a Web Coordinator for a public library. It seems like there might be some applications for reference-type questions. But maybe I’m reading more into it than there is.

  5. Andy Beard says:

    I was just about to make something similar ;)

    When you click to become a contributor, it shows up in your co-op account that you have requested to become a contributor.

    I believe Darren has set this up that contributors have to be authorised (which will prevent spam). Of important note is that there is a limit of 100 contributors.

    There are things that are different regarding Google Co-op CSE and Adsense for Search, not just the community aspect, which I have explored in more detail on my blog.

    Waiting for authorisation Darren :)

  6. Yeah, I tried to contribute, but you have to be approved first. I think I prefer the “submit a site and have that approved” methodology; maybe they will implement that in the future.

  7. Simone says:

    Oh great, how embarrassing, now I’m the only one with a photo up there (ok, I can see more if I scroll)! Argh! And when I tried to submit that photo (to test it!), I thought it didn’t work…!!

    Right, off to change some things…!!!

    Yes, I agree it’s quite a strange system… Oh well, it’s beta! :D
    I do like it though, for my internal search. And I’ve created a Perth blog search, but not sure what I’ll do with it yet!

  8. Andy Merrett says:

    This is the kind of thing I’ve been wanting to add to the Blue Fish Network but hadn’t found an easy way to do it. Trust Google to come up with the solution! It’s a nice system, though mine is set up not to accept contributions as it only searches Blue Fish member sites and that’s a predetermined list.

  9. Andy Beard says:

    I haven’t been able to upload a picture to personalize my inclusion. The display is also a bit of a mess, but that can be fixed with the custom version.

    I do have some other concerns, but can’t test them until you switch on monetization ;)

  10. Simone says:

    Well, it’s easy to stop contributing! :D
    Ahhh, only faceless people on there now!(before you start scrolling!)

  11. graydon says:

    I was going to experiment with the Google Marker button that you can add to the top…

    Went to a site that I would want to add…
    Clicked the Google Marker button…
    Got a notice that Google Toolbar had blocked the pop-up…

    I hear a Homer Simpson “Doh!”… coming from somewhere…

  12. Putch says:

    Upon checking this out, three features stood out:
    1) You can exclude sites that you do not want in the results
    2) You can easily do so using the Google Marker
    3) Anyone can volunteer to help

    So we decided to throw up an experiment to encourage everyone to mark spam sites to be excluded from search results.

    Working together as a community we may be able to radically improve the quality of the search results (or perhaps just get in a blacklisting war?)

    The result is Putch – http://www.putch.com

  13. Matt says:

    Darren,

    We would love to be part of the ProBlogger Search Engine community. Would you kindly approve our website http://www.consumersdeals.com for inclusion into the ProBlogger Search Engine?

    Our website features deals from merchants. There is a link to our blog from the website.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  14. Thanks Darren!

    You just solved a huge problem for me!

    You see, the Ad Sense for Search box (for some strange reason) does not work in the new Blogger Beta. Ironically however the Google Coop does.

    Thanks Darren! I owe you one!

  15. I clicked on ‘volunteer’ but it just refreshes the page. Am I doing it wrong?

  16. Ok, tried to register and nothing happened. Anyway, mine is a new political blog and I’d love to contribute. http://www.minor-ripper.blogspot.com

  17. Larry Eiss says:

    When I “volunteered” it asked me to log in and then click to volunteer, but there was no interface for specifying my site or an image. Let me know how to go about that and I will.
    –Larry

  18. james says:

    And, I just thought I would show you a site that I’ve created using the Custom Search Engine and the AJAX Search API (from an avid problogger reader):

    http://findingfunnies.com

    A search engine for jokes… Of course, just a first attempt, but I thought it turned out pretty well. ;-)

  19. Jonathan says:

    Thank you for the information…I will definitely utilize it! :)

Trackbacks

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